Can chick development be delayed in winter due to cold

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Loveoursilkies, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Loveoursilkies

    Loveoursilkies Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2012
    We brought our silkie hen in 2 days ago because of the extreme cold, we thought some eggs could hatch, so we didn't want the chicks to die, exactly 23 days ago she started incubating some eggs (then the Ameracauna and Aracauna laid more in the nest-only 1 is hers). I think most of the eggs are at least 2 1/2 weeks old (she and the eggs were moved into a rabbit cage, where other chickens couldn't get to her, therefore none of these eggs were laid recenlty. None of the eggs had hatched, so, I candled them just now. 5 out of the 10 were duds for sure, I cracked them open, threw them away, however, at least 3 are alive (not sure of the other too, they are pretty dark blue), but the chick inside is very small. She is an amazing broody mom. Could the chicks be delayed because of the cold, as they were looking like only about 10 to 12 day old chicks and that isn't possible, except the delay. They were moving all about. I've hatched chicks, so I know they are pretty early. I guess mom is going to be inside for awhile, much longer than the few days we thought. At least she only poops every few days since she doesn't get off the nest, except once per day or less. Also, another issue, I saw little things crawling on her, little dots, are they mites/lice. What can I do, since she is on eggs, I don't want chemicals killing the little ones. Oh the trouble I've had with chickens after starting this addiction a little over 1 year ago. My kids talked me into letting her nest. I love them though.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Cold temperatures does delay development of embryos, but it shouldn't be an issue under a broody. Strange.

    Anyway, about those mites. You will have to treat her asap. Broodies don't eat much and they lose quite a bit of weight when they sit, so that combined with the mites can make her really weak or even kill her. Get some poultry dust or Invermectin from your local feed store and treat her. You can try dusting her with some wood ashes or apply diluted garlic oil directly to her skin for a safer, more organic treatment, but I don't know how effective it would be if she's got a serious infestation. But make sure you get those little pests off her. You can also give her a boost with some Polyvisol (without iron) and some scrambled eggs as a snack. Good luck!
     
  3. Loveoursilkies

    Loveoursilkies Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Thanks, she actually eats plenty, we are feeding her while on the nest. We will get those mites. I don't think they are too bad yet.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    If you feed her on the nest she may relieve herself on the nest and make a mess of her eggs... Good luck with the mites!
     

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